Competitive racing can be full of excitement. The training for races can put you in the best shape of your life.  But have you ever gotten to that point where you suddenly realized that your competitive edge was no longer there? I have. Here is why and what I replaced my racing desire with.  

Why I Got Tired Doing Competitive Racing

Competitive racing isn’t for everyone. Some people never love it and always will. There are those who are there to take the prize home and compete with other people. Others are there because it’s a competition with themselves. That’s exactly how things were for me.  Then I lost the desire to compete against myself in races.

Growing up, I never really was a competitive person when it came to team sports. Playing soccer up to high school was the extent of my competitiveness. When I moved from Hawaii to San Diego, I discovered mud run races. The first time I did one I was hooked. I started with the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run. I loved the race so much that for a while I was doing it almost every single year. In my mid to late-twenties, I spent time doing other various mud runs through the San Diego area. I even got my feet wet in the Spartan races.

The Competitive Desire Within

After I ran the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run,  I was hooked on anything to do with mud, running, and obstacles. I was never fast enough to place within the top finishers. I didn’t have the competitive desire for that. What I did have was the desire to compete with myself. Most of the mud runs that I did were distances of 10K. I wanted to be the fastest that I could be against myself.

My training regimen was vigorous. In retrospect it was too much. When I was training for a race I was running dozens of miles each week. My goals were always set with increasing my distance and time. The training didn’t stop there. When I was logging all of those miles I was also obsessed with weight lifting in the forms of strength and circuit training. I wanted to be strong and also have a great cardio base. I also had a strong desire for surfing which added to my activity list as well.

Losing My Competitive Edge To Race

Too much of a good thing CAN be a bad thing.  I would argue that I was in the best shape of my life when I was in my mid to late-twenties. The problem was that I was doing so much training that I got burnt out. Intense training places a great deal of stress on your body. The amount of stress that I was putting on my body each week between regular life and physical activity left me mentally fatigued. I reached a point where I stopped caring about the effort that needed to be done in order to run a race.

  • Races are tiring: it was never fun for me to do a race with minimal effort. If I was going to do anything I was going to be giving it my all.
  • Races are expensive: I had to ask myself the question of spending money on a race was really worth it just for to get a challenge. It’s not any more.
  • My true love is surfing: I want to make my body be limber and physically fit for as long as possible. Increased stress and wear and tear on my joints simply isn’t worth it if I want to stay physically active well into my sixties.

I Can Find My Competitive Edge Elsewhere

What brings me the most joy when it comes to physical activity is getting outside. There’s nothing that compares to the natural elements and feeling the emotion that nature can provide. No gym will ever compare to that. These days I spend my time in the gym keeping fit enough for my true love of surfing. I can still find time in the water to be competitive with myself to put on the best surfing performance that I can do.  Races will still be run without me. To be honest, I don’t miss them at all.

Have you ever lost your competitive edge when it came to racing? What happened? Was it replaced with something else?